Hurricane Katrina

Katrina reflections: Survivors recall images from 2005

Every person's Hurricane Katrina experience was unique. From the harrowing to the amusing, Sun Herald photographers captured some of those moments. The expressions on people's faces told many stories: loss, grief, love, a determination to survive.

Ten years later, we visited with the people photographed in 10 of those images, many taken within a week of the storm.

We asked the people to recall the moment of the photograph and share how they have changed.

Darlene Mange had tried to evacuate her home north of Pass Christian, but it was too late and she was turned back by police who said the traffic was too bad. After riding out the storm in her home with her son, she was called to help one of her neighbors -- a woman who until that day had been practically a stranger -- whose husband and 2-year-old son had drowned in the storm.

Gilda Seymour and her husband stayed at her hair salon on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs during Katrina. Her friend Vivian Wall had ridden out the storm on the roof of her beachfront home, clinging to the chimney. When Seymour returned to her home in the Gulf Hills area of St. Martin, she found destruction. While she was searching the house for anything salvageable, Wall came to check on her. Neither knew if the other had survived.

Anthony Gloss and his sister Marnuita George rode out Katrina in the attic of their Nixon Street house in Biloxi. After the storm, they stayed at a makeshift refuge camp in the parking lot of the Elks lodge. "When they heard that ice truck was at Food Tiger -- we took off," Gloss said. "We needed water bad. I think I needed water more than I needed food." George said her most valuable asset after the storm was a grocery cart, to help her carry donated supplies. "We called them our Cadillacs," she said.

Darlene and E.G. Warren were in Pensacola, Fla., helping a friend repair a Hurricane Ivan-damaged condo when they realized Katrina would hit South Mississippi. Their Gulfport home had survived Hurricane Camille, so they said they weren't worried about the contents. Five feet of water flooded their home. "It was just enough to ruin a lot of good things," Darlene Warren said. The couple, and many others, stayed at E.G. Warren's office on Pass Road immediately after the storm.

After Katrina, Paul and Bonnie Maggard climbed over a mountain of debris to return to their neighborhood on East Fourth Street in Long Beach. "Just enough to see that there wasn't anything left," Paul Maggard said. They filled garbage cans with personal items they could find, and a neighbor later found their wedding photo in the rubble. Today, it's a reminder they are blessed to still have each other.

After their Biloxi home flooded in Katrina, August Parker and his wife stayed with William Manning and his wife in their duplex at Legacy Towers condominiums in Gulfport. "The rugs were all wet, but we had dry bedding," Parker said. With no electricty or water, a makeshift shower became a welcome source of relief for them and their neighbors.

Judy Styron, whose car had run out of gas, had to walk from nearby Covenant Square apartments to Wal-Mart, where water and ice were being distributed shortly after Katrina. After two hours in line in the hot sun, she was delighted to have some ice and water. Styron had a gas stove and was able to cook for friends and neighbors. She housed a family that had lost their home. "I had a house full of people" after the storm, she said.

Phyllis Frazier's apartment had flooded and her parents had barely survived Katrina, escaping their home before the roof came off and floodwaters came in. Emotions were high in the days after the storm as word got out about the people who'd died. "Any time you hear about death, it hits close to home," Frazier said. Still, "it was a blessing to see how many people were reaching out to help" after the storm. "There were a lot of mixed feelings."

Curtis Lopez and six others shared three trailers on their East Biloxi property for a year after Katrina. Among them was Lopez's granddaughter, Olivia. Lopez said Olivia had been his motivation to evacuate before Katrina, and she became his motivation to rebuild after the storm. Very few families rebuilt in the Point Cadet neighborhood of Biloxi after Katrina; the area is almost as desolate now as it was just after the storm.

Trahera Neely and her sons huddled in the stairwell of their Gulfport apartment building during Katrina. Afterward, they stayed at a Red Cross Shelter. Her perspective on the storm has changed over the last decade, from feeling sad over what she lost to seeing the storm as a source of positive change in her life.

  Comments